Tirukural – Chapter 64


Section VI: Ministers

Chapter 64: Ministers


Verse 637
A minister at his desk is studying various texts which have been translated from different nations of the world. He is interested in how others have dealt with issues that face him today and remains open to the wisdom that he finds from their experience.


TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom




Verse 631

A minister is he who can conceive a great enterprise,
rightly choose the ways, means and time, then carry it out.

Verse 632

Added to the above five, a minister is well-endowed with
steadfastness, learning, perseverance and protection of the people.

Verse 633

He who can divide enemies, bind friends more firmly
and reunite estranged allies is unequivocally a minister.

Verse 634

Call him a minister who comprehends things,
effectively executes them and competently directs others.

Verse 635

The helpful aide understands codes of conduct, discerns what is
fitting in every situation and speaks with learned deliberation.

Verse 636

When shrewd intelligence combines with scholastic study,
who can stand before such peerless subtlety?

Verse 637

Though thoroughly learned in theoretical methods,
one should act only after fathoming the world’s proven practices.

Verse 638

The loyal minister’s duty is to communicate his counsel,
even if his leader is a dullard who spurns advice.

Verse 639

Better for the king to face 700 million far-off foes
than to retain a single counselor who conspires at his side.

Verse 640

Little matter that they can devise the perfect plan;
those without executive skills never finish their work.

Tirukural – Chapter 63


Chapter 63: Being Undaunted by Troubles


Verse 625
A man is confronted with multiple troubles and tribulations. His mother is ill and his wife has fallen and hurt her arms. Behind, the fields are dry and lifeless. He persists despite the many troubles, and for this is blessed by a deva.


TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom




Verse 621

Laugh when troubles come your way.
Nothing conquers calamity better than that.

Verse 622

A tide of troubles will recede the moment
an intelligent man’s mind collects itself to face them.

Verse 623

Trouble itself they send away troubled
who do not trouble themselves at the sight of it.

Verse 624

Troubles will feel troubled facing a man who faces them
like the determined bullock that wades through every difficulty.

Verse 625

Though massed upon him like a mountain,
a man’s afflictions will be crushed by his undaunted will.

Verse 626

Those who do not clutch their wealth, boasting, “I have so much,”
will not, in poorer times, bemoan, “I have so little.”

Verse 627

Knowing this body to be the prey of misery,
high souls, expecting troubles, do not find them troublesome.

Verse 628

Declaring difficulties to be perfectly natural,
those who do not pursue life’s pleasures will not suffer its sorrows.

Verse 629

He who does not long for joy in joy
will not suffer sorrow in sorrow.

Verse 630

The man who does not distinguish pain from pleasure
becomes so distinguished that even enemies hope to pay homage.

Art from Kerala

There is a profound project underway deep in the monastery. It is the creation of a new book by Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, his commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. The manuscript is done and much of the artwork has been received from Kerala. The book will be designed and published next year.

Meantime, we thought our CyberCadets would like to see one of the recent canvases. It is a visual summary of Verse 2.1, namely:

tapa svdhya yevara-praidhnni kriy-yoga

"Kriya yoga is comprised of austerity, self-study and devotion to Ishvara."

Tirukural – Chapter 62

Chapter 62: Perseverance



Verse 615
An energetic weaver works at his loom, smiling with the joy of working hard to support his family. Behind him his wife is adorned with good clothes and jewelry. She lovingly takes care of her father as the children are studying industriously. The man’s hard work has brought abundance to the family.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom


Verse 611

Never say in weakness, "This task is too difficult."
Perseverance will confer the ability to accomplish it.

Verse 612

Beware of leaving any work undone, remembering that the world
abandons those who abandon their work unfinished.

Verse 613

The pride of profuse giving dwells only
with the dignity of diligent effort.

Verse 614

Like the swordsmanship of an effeminate man, the philanthropy
of those who avoid hard work will end in failure.

Verse 615

Standing like a pillar, he who prefers work to pleasure
supports his family and sweeps away their every sad sorrow.

Verse 616

Perseverance generates prosperity,
and the lack of it engenders poverty.

Verse 617

They say the black ogress called Misfortune lurks in laziness,
while Goddess Fortune lingers in the laboring toils of active men.

Verse 618

To be destitute of good fortune is no one's disgrace, but shame
belongs to those devoid of wisdom and tenacity.

Verse 619

Though destiny decrees that one's deeds will fail,
the wages for determined work are always paid.

Verse 620

Those who strive with tireless exertion and remain undaunted
will live to behold the backside of retreating Fate.

Tirukural – Chapter 61

Chapter 61: Avoidance of Idleness



Verse 610
A king, having many noble characteristics, goes into the far fields to oversee the harvest in his realm, meets with his military court to strategize and at the bottom stands before God who blesses him.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom


Verse 601

The eternal flame of a family vanishes
when eclipsed by that dark cloud called idleness.

Verse 602

Let those who wish their family to be a noble family
call laziness "laziness" and live without it.

Verse 603

The simpleton whose actions are stifled by ruinous indolence
will see his family perish before he dies.

Verse 604

Their families decrease and their vices increase when men,
ensnared in sloth, do not put forth earnest effort.

Verse 605

Procrastination, forgetfulness, sloth and sleep--
these four shape the ship bearing those destined for ruin.

Verse 606

Seldom do languid men achieve anything special,
even when supported by the world's wealthy proprietors.

Verse 607

Idle men, incapable of honorable exertion,
invite scorn and suffer the shame of scolding words.

Verse 608

If languor is allowed to linger in aristocrats,
they will be forced into servitude under foes.

Verse 609

Disgrace that has come upon a man and his family
will disappear the moment he casts out laziness.

Verse 610

A king devoid of indolence will thereby procure all that
cosmic expanse measured by God's immeasurable strides.

Announcing Our 2021 Digital Dharma Drive!

A Message from Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami


Namaste, and welcome to our various websites and mobile apps, through which we seek to provide accurate, useful and contemporary information on Hinduism and the activities of Hindus around the world.

The presence of Hindus in the digital realm has greatly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pujas, lectures, webinars, group satsangs and more have all gone digital. In our digital activities we have added a Zoom satsang every weekend plus my weekly talk in Kadavul Temple is now live-streamed. These are both recorded and thus we are adding two new videos each week to our Kauai's Hindu Monastery YouTube channel. The study of our online courses link to courses.himalayanacademy.com continues to grow, with "The Master Course" and "Beginning to Meditate" being the most popular ones. "A Beginner's Course in Sanskrit Chanting from Himalayan Academy" is in its initial stages on our website link sanskritguide.com Adding audio files is the next step toward its completion.

All the material on our websites and now our mobile apps are available for free online. Our Guru, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, insisted that all of his books and other publications be available in digital format without charge. However, to cover the professional fees needed to continue to upgrade and expand, we do follow the model of Wikipedia and ask for donations the last two months of the year. For eleven years running, you've responded generously, and after another year of working to enhance the site and mobile apps, we are back again with this appeal.

In our "How the Funds Are Used" page: donate.himalayanacademy.com/ddd/ddd-faq we detail what we did with last year's generosity, and what we hope to accomplish in 2022. Your contribution this year will go to a short but strategic list of projects, including children's learning tools, language translations, spiritual art, the enhancement of our websites and their content and the development of the ever-popular mobile apps. Digital Dharma Drive funds do not pay staff salaries or administrative overhead, since these sites are created and maintained by selfless monks who work for free and live simply in our remote monastery on the island of Kauai.

Donate today, and improve Hinduism's global English-language resources for the benefit of this and future generations

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
Guru Mahasannidhanam of Kauai Aadheenam
Publisher of Hinduism Today

Click here to donate

Tirukural – Chapter 60

Chapter 60: Possession of Industriousness



Verse 596
A weaver, a musician and a sculptor are all industriously working at their craft. They give no thought to failure, and therefore failure rarely visits them.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom


Verse 591

Possessing belongs only to the industrious. Do those
who lack such energy really possess their possessions?

Verse 592

Those who own a mental energy possess a thing of worth.
Material wealth is an unenduring possession that goes away.

Verse 593

Those who possess persevering industry
will never say in despair, "We have lost our wealth."

Verse 594

Good fortune of its own accord ferrets out and
finds the man of unflagging energy.

Verse 595

The length of the lotus stalk depends on the water's depth.
Even so, a man's greatness is proportionate to his mind's energy.

Verse 596

Let all thoughts be thoughts of noble progress,
for then even failing cannot be called a failure.

Verse 597

Elephants stand firm even when wounded by a barrage of arrows.
Strong-willed men are not discouraged when they meet disaster.

Verse 598

Without a zealous spirit, one will never enjoy
the proud exhilaration of the world's generosity.

Verse 599

The towering elephant, with his tapering tusks,
still shrinks in fear when a fierce tiger attacks.

Verse 600

An industrious mind is a man's real wealth.
Lacking it, he is immobile--more tree-like than human.

Tirukural – Chapter 59

Chapter 59: Espionage



Verse 589
A wise king meets separately and secretly with five different informants. He will only proceed with their information when three of them agree and give him the same report.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom


Verse 581

Competent spies and the respected codes of law--
consider these two the eyes of a king.

Verse 582

Duty requires the monarch to swiftly acquire
knowledge of all happenings among all men each day.

Verse 583

Without assessing the intelligence reports of informants,
a king can never achieve victory.

Verse 584

The working staff, close kindred and known enemies--
all such people are the legitimate study of spies.

Verse 585

An able spy is one who can assume an unsuspicious disguise,
is fearless when caught and never betrays his secrets.

Verse 586

Disguised as a monk or a mendicant, the master spy
moves about investigating all, never careless, come what may.

Verse 587

A spy must ferret out hidden facts,
assuring himself that knowledge found is beyond doubt.

Verse 588

Before believing one spy's espionage,
have another spy espy the information.

Verse 589

See that informants do not know one another,
and accept their findings only when three reports agree.

Verse 590

One must not openly honor operatives.
To do so is to divulge one's deepest secrets.

Tirukural – Chapter 58

Chapter 58: The Kindly Look



Verse 577
At a roadside temple beggars are lined on either side of the path. One woman with a kindly look offers coins to the beggar, whereas the other woman turns away from them with a scowl.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom


Verse 571

The fairest graciousness, they say, is a kindly look.
Wherever it thrives, the whole world flourishes.

Verse 572

It is compassion that sustains the world's existence.
The existence of those bereft of it is a burden to the Earth.

Verse 573

What use is melody in an unmusical song?
What use are eyes that express no sympathy?

Verse 574

Other than being facial ornaments, what do eyes
with no quality of kindness really do?

Verse 575

A compassionate glance is the eyes' true ornament.
Without such kindness, eyes become unsightly sores.

Verse 576

Eyes that remain unmoved by pity might as well
be unmovable tree stumps bound in earth.

Verse 577

Those who lack a kindly look are indeed without eyes,
and those who truly have eyes never lack a gracious look.

Verse 578

This world belongs to those who, while neglecting no duty,
never neglect to behold others benevolently.

Verse 579

To grant forbearing kindness even to those
who aggrieve us is the foremost of virtues.

Verse 580

Desiring to be gracious above all else, guests may politely accept
even poison they watched their host prepare and serve.

Tirukural – Chapter 57

Chapter 57: Avoidance of Tyranny



Verse 565
A guard, hand uplifted to control the crowd, shouts while another pushes a couple away from the king, not allowing them to meet him. Behind the king, who refuses his peoples entreaties, a demon has confiscated the royal treasury and hugs bags of gold coins.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom


Verse 561

He is a true king who impartially investigates
and then duly punishes so that the offense will not recur.

Verse 562

He who wishes his prosperity to long remain
will raise the rod severely, but let it fall softly.

Verse 563

The tyrant who causes dread in his people
will perish quickly and inevitably.

Verse 564

"Our king is cruel." When these bitter words are spoken,
the monarch's life is shortened, and he soon succumbs.

Verse 565

If a man's countenance is harsh and access to him is hard,
his wealth, however vast, might as well belong to a demon.

Verse 566

If a man is unkind and speaks cruelly,
his vast wealth will not last long before perishing.

Verse 567

Harsh language and overly severe punishment,
like a keen file, grind down a king's conquering powers.

Verse 568

A king's wealth wanes when, without thoughtful involvement,
he lets ministers work, then furiously faults their efforts.

Verse 569

The sovereign who does not secure defenses will be seized
by fear when wartime comes and promptly perish.

Verse 570

Earth bears no greater burden than crude counselors
that a cruel-sceptered king binds to his court.

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